The Super Eagles of Nigeria have shown no discernable style of play and more so lack a distinct identity under German coach Gernot Rohr according to Ex-Super Eagles Speed Demon Tijani Babangida.
This statement comes 7 weeks and 1 day until Nigeria face Liberia in their 2022 world cup qualifier curtain raiser in June.
Gernot Rohr’s identity-less Super Eagles (according to Babangida) only last month qualified for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations with games to spare in a “style” fans have now been spoilt with under the German tactician.
It would seem counterintuitive for a team that qualifies for tournaments – in style – with games to spare to be lacking in style.
Yes, I understand that Babangida was referring to formation, tactics and approach to games but, even at that, isn’t it a combination of these same elements that won the games that qualified Nigeria for those tournaments, near effortlessly?
What I find is that some observers and some ex-internationals make comments off-the-cuff. And when this happens, it hard to take such a statement seriously.
“What is our identity?” asks Babangida. “We don’t even have one despite the bunch of talented players we have in the team.”
Well, for one, Rohr’s Super Eagles of Nigeria are a tough proposition for the best teams on the planet to overcome.
They are resolved, resolute and are currently punching their weight in world football – that is an identity.
As for style, they explore speed from the flanks, push full backs forward and for the most part, play counter-attacking football. In Osimhen, they have a complete centre forward who can exploit spaces and also work the channels.
A team devoid of style and identity would neither climb high on the ladder of Fifa rankings nor qualify for tournaments with flagrant disrespect for the oppositions.
Even for those who criticise Rohr, like myself, it helps to add substance to any pillory directed at the German,then it can be taken more seriously.
Off-the-cuff statements like the one made by Babangida about Rohr’s Eagles lacking identity and style should be taken with a pinch of salt.
Perhaps, even taking it with a pinch of salt is a waste of salt!
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